Rooted in the traditions of the seventeenth and eighteenth century, debutante balls were exclusive to aristocracy with its purpose of introducing a group of young women to the royal court. Fast forward to modern day 2009, a debutante ball can be used to celebrate the coming of age quinceañera without putting a damper on your parents’ bank account, or on your college fund for that matter. So if you’re aiming for a quince celebration that’s light on the wallet but heavy on the “fantastic”, here’s the quick 411 and the pro and con break down on this timeless and elegant coming of age tradition.
Having reached a mature age, young ladies were introduced to society during the debutante ball. Once the debutante was presented to the court, she would then curtsy before them as a sign of respect and gratitude for being welcomed into society. The debutante would then be escorted away by her chosen escort and all of the debutantes and their escorts would dance a choreographed traditional ballroom waltz. For the most part, these debutante balls were organized yearly by important socialite organizations and took place during the “social season”, which typically began in the late fall.
Gather the troops
Considering that most quinceañeras have a group of friends that will also be celebrating their quince within the same year, it would only make sense to celebrate them together in an effort to split costs and save some serious dough. You can gather your friends, your relatives, and friends of your friends to get a debutante court of say… 10. To keep things better organized, delegate the task of event coordinator to one person, or hire an event coordinator all together. Once the budget is tallied, parents of the debutantes can split the bill 10 ways as opposed to picking up the bill on their own.
Weighing the Pros and the Cons
Traditional debutante balls require that the debutante wear a solid white dress to represent purity.
Pro: The dress color is set and you have one less thing to worry about when choosing your quince gown. Now, you have more time to focus on whether the tube top, halter or thin strap look would flatter you best.
Con: This means that that hot-pink boutique gown you’re going ga-ga for is strictly out of the question.
A debutante ball is shared with numerous other young ladies.
Pro: Your closest friends and family members will share with you your special once-in-a-lifetime experience, nerves and all.
Con: You won’t be the only damsel in the limelight so be prepared to share the spotlight with your fellow debutantes.
The Surprise Dance
In a traditional debutante ball there is no surprise dance. The waltz danced by all the debutantes and their escorts is a rehearsed traditional waltz.
Pro: If you were to miss a beat or get off on the wrong foot, chances are that no one will notice. After all, you will be sharing the dance floor with lots of other people.
Con: Your reggaeton/ “Grease”/or Shakira-inspired surprise dance is out the window.